Pura Vida

Returning from the beautiful country of Costa Rica has left me so inspired. The amazing views, culture, food and way of life was so refreshing. Vacations not only help me relax and de-stress, but also reflect on goals and priorities. I sometimes struggle to maintain that work-life balance or even leave my cellphone off for a day so this vacation was much needed. I feel so blessed and thankful to be able to travel and experience Costa Rica, and of course watch my two friends Michelle and Khaled have the wedding of their dreams.

We stayed at a gorgeous hotel, The Westin Playa Conchal in Liberia. Of course the design and decor didn't go unnoticed. Here are some of my favourite areas:

On our second day we decided to visit the town of Tamarindo, a nearby surf town:

We did an all-day adventure tour which was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. We hiked and zip lined through the rainforest, jumped into a waterfall, went horse-back riding and ate some delicious food...

And of course, witnessed a beautiful wedding ceremony located under this ginormous tree..

Stunning, isn't it? Congrats to the happy couple!

I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. Relaxation, adventure and great company. I'm missing the 40 degree weather, vibrant colours and delicious food. I've already started incorporating some brighter colours in my home and will be cooking my first Costa Rican/Central American dish next week. Now if mother nature would just cooperate, I'll be all set.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. PURA VIDA!

A Perfect Hawaiian Wedding

Have you ever been to an unforgettable wedding? I had the opportunity to watch my oldest girlfriend marry her soulmate in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was hands-down the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen. For some reason I was thinking about weddings today (not hinting at anything, I swear) and hers was stuck in my mind. Not only because she's one of my oldest and dearest girlfriends, but also because she's decor obsessed just like me. She has great style and I wanted to highlight all the beautiful little details she managed to serve up during her wedding. It's these small personal touches that really make my heart skip a beat. So lets begin shall we?

First, check out the hanging polaroids. They were my fave. You locate your photo and on the back would be your table number. Genius! Here's one of my girlfriends snatching hers...

And here's mine!

You turn around and BAM! Check out this beautiful tent surrounded by palm trees and beautiful greenery...

Inside the tent hangs beautiful paper lanterns and centrepieces with driftwood and coral...

White chrysanthemums and coral roses...love the placecards too!

And check out where the ceremony took place. Could you not have a better view? Oh and that large basket near the back was holding umbrellas! They did come in handy since it did rain for a little bit but the sun quickly peeked it's head through and we were blessed with beautiful weather.

The programs were hanging on each chair and fans and handkerchiefs were also provided (super cute, no?)...

I have to say that the programs were beautifully done. Great design, paper quality and the die-cut was so pretty. Something a graphic designer can truly appreciate. In fact, I still have mine!

These were her giveaways for you to take home. A photographer would snap a photo of each couple and it was later mailed to you to display in this beautiful frame.

Here are some additional photos. Her brother singing and playing the ukulele:

And of course, the handsome couple, Beryl and Ed with their son Jayden:

What an amazing wedding, I'm so happy I was able to share that special day with them! Wasn't I right about the details? Have you been to any unforgettable weddings or events?

Furniture Friday - Frank Lloyd Wright

Last summer I visited Chi-town for the first time. During my stay there, I was fortunate enough to visit the home and studio of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. His home and studio is located in the Oak Park area and is now a National Historic Landmark.

Let me tell you, I was so excited for this part of our trip. I love to see how people live and use the spaces in their home, so to be able to sneak a peak at how Wright lived and worked was so amazing! Though he is most known for developing the 'Prairie Style'of architecture, Wright also designed stained glass windows, ceramics, textiles and furniture. Below are a few shots I took during the tour:

Much different than today's open concept living areas, Wright created dividers in different rooms. He loved the Japanese style of architecture and that is definitely evident in his designs. Also alot of tufting going on which I love...

There was alot of wood all over the house, oak built-ins and oak furniture designed by Wright. Notice the high-back chairs at his dining table? Our tour guide mentioned that he liked to create intimate enclosures or a room within a room.

This is where all the magic happened I guess?. I mean the below photo and not the above! I have no words to describe his office. He had several drafting tables and check out the ceiling below...

Have you ever been to any of Wright's homes? I'd also love to check out Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. That's definitely on my bucket list. Who's in?

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

It's All In The Details

This was supposed to be an impromptu photoshoot of my favourite thrift store finds but it quickly turned into a set of the favourite details in my home. Some rooms I didn't dare photograph due to clutter and general nastyness so obviously, shooting the details was alot more convenient. I couldn't help but notice how drawn I am to intricate things. Whether it's a pattern, texture, carvings or even a photograph - it's something I truly love and appreciate. Oh and another thing I noticed: boy, do I love gold.

Do you love detail? If not, what catches your eye and what are you drawn to in your own home?

Colour In My Living Room

via Sara Tuttle Interiors

I'll be honest. I find colour a little scary at times. Sounds insane coming from a graphic designer but decorating is a whole different beast. With graphic design, you can go through dozens of mockups and nothing is ever really final unless it's going out for print. Changing the colour of your entire website or correcting a typo online takes minimum effort whereas painting a room can takes hours and you won't even know if it's the right colour until the paint has dried completely, and you've seen how the colour can look different during the day and the evening. I find that a tad scary and it's a problem for me. I'm indecisive, a little impatient at times, and I just can't commit.

I tend to lean towards a grey and white palette because I love how clean and calm it feels. I try to stay away from anything too trendy because I know I'll eventually get tired of it. But after 2 years of living in my condo, I've finally decided on an accent colour: blue (well, more navy blue). It's a versatile colour that goes well with black and white, and also pops of pink and gold that make appearances around my home. Blue is also the only colour my boyfriend and I could agree on. Your man has to love it too, right?

So after deciding on an accent colour, I wanted to get them on our walls. I take alot of photographs and I managed to find 2 perfect images to blow up for our living room. The one on the left was taken in Toronto while the other photo was taken on a trip to Hawaii. The second photo was actually the result of my shutter speed set too low on my camera. I usually trash these photos directly from the camera but the colours appealed to me and I'm so glad I decided to keep it because I love how it looks blown up in a frame.

For the frames, I bought some Ikea ones and spray painted them gold. The painted began to chip a bit (probably because I didn't wait long enough for it to dry). I could've done another coat but I actually like how the paint has peeled off. It makes the frame look a bit aged and adds a bit of character. So here it is, the finished product in my living room. Now, I just need to sew my new blue pillows and I'm all set!

Family Photoshoot

My cousin Tracey wanted to do a winter photoshoot a couple of weekends ago. We weren't blessed with any snow, but boy was it ever cold! Needless to say, I had to move as quickly as possible since frostbite was starting to kick in. Below are some of my favourite shots from that day:

Chicago Architecture

December is here and I'm really missing the warm weather. While looking through my catalogue of photos I remembered one of the hottest and most humid days I've ever experienced. Surprisingly, it was during our trip to the windy city. I've felt the caribbean sun on me before, but the heatwave in Chicago was so brutal to walk around in. And you can't necessarily wander the streets in a bikini sipping cocktails! So as I sat at my desk reminiscing, dressed in a sweater and track pants, I happily browsed through sweaty pictures of my boyfriend and I, along with hundreds (yes hundreds) of architectural photos. All that walking in extreme heat was definitely worth it. There was so much beauty to see and appreciate. My fave building: The Carbide and Carbon Building which was built in 1929 - classic Art Deco design.

Magnus Reed's Home & Studio

Herringbone floors anyone? I am in love with this floor. It's like having your floor as one big art piece! Absolutely stunning.

This floor belongs to Magnus Reed, a prominent fashion photographer living in Schöneberg, Germany. It's interesting to see how artists live and decorate their personal spaces. This flat is minimal but charming. Talk about waking up to inspiration!

To see Magnus Reed's work, you can check out his website here.

Source: www.freundevonfreunden.com | Photographs by: Ailine Liefeld

I Miss NYC

I still can't believe the amount of damage hurricane Sandy has caused. My heart goes out to all the people who have lost love ones, lost their homes, and have been without power and necessities for days. I feel so lucky to be here and to have all my loved ones safe from harm. It's amazing what we take for granted on a daily basis. We are so very lucky.

Donate to the American Red Cross

After viewing all the devastation in NYC, New Jersey and along the east coast, it prompted me to dig into my albums. My last trip to NYC seems so long ago. I will see you soon New York.